Keeping Your Job: Medical Leave for Treatment

Gazing into your crystal ball of the future, none of us will ever be able to truly foresee 100% accurately. Life just kind of happens like “that” sometimes. What we predict to be up will end up being down. Left is right and right is wrong. We’ll create these hopes, dreams, ambitions, intentions, determinations and aspirations full of imagination only for those best laid plans to be thwarted by what life has planned.

In the same breath, we control our destiny and all the actions that transpire on our road to greatness. We have the power of choice. This confliction is what gives meaning to the serenity prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous, “God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference”. This prayer is often a guiding hand for the average alcoholic thinker.

That all being said, none of us prepare for the mundane misery that is alcoholic thinking. It’s a life of burden and despair that can only be relinquished upon acceptance; acceptance of sobriety and acceptance of the need for self awareness. It’s only once a person is ready for this that anything can change. After all, nothing changes if nothing changes. Asking for help can sometimes mean taking the time with medical leave for treatment. While some people are wired to multitask well under the pressures of life, others need less distraction to eminently focus on eliminating the prerogatives of addiction. For most, recognizing this disease firsthand are the beginnings of any successful recovery.

Keeping Your Job, Keeping Your Life

A car accident, a DUI, an overdose, relationships getting completely unmanageable- you name it; any of these are fitting enough reasons to need a medical leave for treatment services. Once things have gotten bad enough for any individual, the time for taking action becomes priority. Addiction is the monster while rational thought is the grand imperial guard that protects the city walls from the balance of life and death. Everything we let our addiction touch will affect us in some manner or another. Even still, fending off the disease isn’t initially the problem. Usually finding it is.

Alcoholism is one of the only diseases known to man that will convince its host that it’s not there. It’s a camouflaged sickness operating in plain sight up until the point that it’s acknowledged. This is why when and if it is acknowledged, it is best to take action immediately. The disease has a mind of its own and will convince anybody with it to second guess getting help for it; whatever their reasons be.

Many addicts/alcoholics become ready to accept they have such an oppressive disease but struggle to advance forward in fear of the unfair expectations society may hold. The reality of it is that alcoholism is just like any other disease, whether the bulk of the populus chooses to accept that or not. It is an involuntary disorder that hypnotizes the mind and should be treated like such in all such professional settings. Needing to take a medical leave for treatment is nothing that can be avoided. There are ways to go about it while still keeping your job. Even in worst case scenarios where the individual’s addiction has become life threatening, that person can always find another job. Jeopardizing their lives for a job won’t replenish itself in vitality. This is the real world, not Super Mario Bros; you don’t have multiple lives.  

Acceptance of Alcoholic Thinking

Eventually after trying every method possible to avoid taking medical leave for treatment, the inevitable overwhelming nature of powerlessness and unmanageability will make themselves known(if they haven’t already). To combat this most of us will have tried things like drinking beer only, limiting the number of drinks, never drinking alone, never drinking in the morning, drinking only at home, never having it in the house, never drinking during business hours, drinking only at parties, switching from scotch to brandy, drinking only natural wines, agreeing to resign if ever drunk on the job, taking a trip, not taking a trip, swearing off forever (with or without a solemn oath), taking more physical exercise, reading inspirational books, going to health farms and sanitariums, accepting voluntary commitment to asylums, and increasing the list ad infinitum, only for all our attempts at control to fail. The time for help is clearly now.

Medical Treatment is Medical Treatment

Realizing that action needs to be taken against the problems piling up, then it becomes a mission of setting up help while maintaining your livelihood. For some, their career is everything. So there will be some necessary precautions to be taken so that rehabilitation can be found in harmony with financial obligations going forward. Some of the steps in setting up a medical leave for treatment(not in any particular order) include:

  • Notifying all Superiors
  • Talking to Human Resources Department
  • Obtaining Medical Recommendation/Alibi
  • Accounting for Bills/Payments during Absence
  • Taking Care of All Loose Ends

It may be an uncomfortable experience to deal with, but detoxing under professional care and taking a few weeks in a medical leave for treatment may be one of the best decisions ever made. If/when addiction is allowed to progress to the extent of its capabilities, the job we were so desperately attached to keeping won’t matter anymore. That person will end up being replaced as another pinebox story and the world keeps moving. Don’t allow the “if” to become a “when” and consider taking a medical leave as an opportunity that some may never have. We are the sole proprietors of our destiny.